It was fall of 2002—a new year was approaching when I met Clinton. I just a few months shy of my 13th birthday. I remember thinking I was so grown but when I look back on things, I do think I was a little more level-headed and rational with than most kids my age. I was actually a lot more disciplined as a preteen than I have ever been as an adult.
Sometimes as an adult, you hit those rough patches in life where you get sick of adulting, you get sick of being responsible, and you realize that when you are responsible it’s boring as hell, and you get shit on a lot.
And at 12, just hitting the seventh grade, I started noticing guys. Not just regular guys my age—but “guys” as in nearly grown men or guys that were a little bit older than me.
It was then when I started noticing an attraction for grown adult men. Nine times out of ten, it was because my father was in and out of my life and I never had a stable father figure.
I met Clinton through a classmate that I begrudgingly accepted as my neighbor. They were stepbrothers. They lived in a unit down the sidewalk from my unit, and much to my demise, Adam found out where I lived and he would always come by and bug the shit out of me. Adam was Clinton’s younger stepbrother—Adam happened to have three younger siblings as well—Shirley, Jenna, and Bobby.
Adam was very annoying and irritating to me—Shirley, although she meant well, was a blabbermouth and you couldn’t trust her with secrets to save her life. Jenna and Bobby were just little brats and attended the elementary school down the road.
When I met them, Bobby was in kindergarten and Jenna was in the second grade. Shirley was going into the sixth grade. Clinton was in high school.
I had three friends who lived in the same building as me—Brittany (who had one sibling) and Alyssa and Tamara (who had three siblings each). There was a lot of us kids that hung outside together and we all thought we were the coolest kids on the block.
I went outside one day. Everyone was out and hanging out as usual and I found Adam and Clinton outside with everyone.
Clinton was mainly sitting with Tamara because she was in high school, too, and pretty much the moment I sat down and talked among everyone, Clinton locked his dark eyes into me.
He was so good-looking—he was sixteen, he had dark hair, dark eyes, tanned skin, and he was one of those good old country boys. He was a goofball, and he was just so laid back and cool to talk with.
I mean, we hit it off really well. In fact, I think he talked with me the most like a friend than he did the other girls. I felt lucky because we all swooned over him and went on about how good-looking he was, and he would talk to me and forget about everyone else, and we used to walk around alone—just me and him—everywhere.
I really liked him and everyone had said to me straight up that they think he likes me. But nobody thought of how peculiar or weird it was that a sixteen-year-old was hanging out with us preteen girls. We didn’t think about it because we hung out with Tamara and she was seventeen.
In my mind, I wasn’t thinking about how I was 12 and a 16-year-old guy wanted to hang out with me and chill with me.
I mean, this guy talked with me about everything he could think of and if his younger step-siblings pissed me off, he would put them in their place quick. He was really cool to me, and he gave me cigarettes. He told me he could just walk into the store and get a pack and nobody would ID him.
I will just say for a 12-year-old, I looked like I qualified to be Clinton’s age. I even told him my age and it didn’t bother him any; I guess it was because I didn’t act like an annoying 12-year-old.
All we did was talk, though, and all he did was stare at me and laugh at everything we would talk about. He was a really friendly guy to me. He never touched me or put his hands on me. He never tried to kiss me or make me feel uncomfortable.
I really had a crush on this guy and I was way too shy to try anything, even though looking back, it was obvious he had something for me too or he wouldn’t have gone the extra mile to hang out with me.
Then one day, Clinton stopped coming outside and hanging out. It was like he disappeared and he just isolated himself away from us girls, and even me…
So heartbreaking…I was really upset. That was what broke me for a little bit and made me give up my confidence. I literally thought it was something personal against me…
One day, we didn’t see anything of Adam, Shirley, Jenna, or Bobby. Not even Clinton—everybody packed up and moved and that apartment of theirs was vacant. They all left and never even told us goodbye…
I mean, they disappeared and you never heard from them again. It was all unexplained, and for years, I kept on trying to find them all on Facebook and various other social media. I never found any of them…
Months turned into years when I constantly thought of them all and wondered how they were all doing and what they were all up to…
So I started sleuthing around online, and I found Adam’s mug shot out somewhere in San Diego, California.
He was homeless and a drifter and got locked up for a string of thefts and armed robberies…I thought to myself, why the hell did they go out to San Diego?
I had already knew what I wanted to know about Adam, but I still wanted to find Shirley and Clinton at least. And what the hell were they doing in San Diego?
So I decided to get on Facebook again and to do the old search, but still no luck on finding any of them.
So I tried searching Google and still no luck until something in my head told me to type in Jenna’s name.
The minute I did that, I got immediate results. The results told me that what had happened. It went down about a year after they moved.
Much to my sadness, horror, and shock, there were articles from different news stations with Clinton’s full name and Jenna’s full name.
Clinton’s mug shots were everywhere—and there was a photograph of him in a jumpsuit, cuffed, and being escorted by police to his trial.
Apparently Clinton had issues. He was an only child until his father got with Adam’s mother—he was having horrible issues with his father. He felt as if his father was treating his step-siblings better than him.
I guess there was so much tension with the new life of having a stepmom and step-siblings that Clinton couldn’t cope because he was used to being alone. To give him his own space, his dad bought him a brand-new trailer and placed it in the back yard so he could still be part of the family but have his own space when he wanted to be alone.
But I guess it wasn’t enough. Clinton stole one of his dad’s guns, loaded it, and hid it under his trailer because he was going to kill his stepmom and his step-siblings except for his dad. He blamed them all for the wedge in him and his dad’s relationship.
He decided to go inside the main house one night and he watched a movie with Adam like everything was normal. He fell asleep during the movie, woke up, and crept into Jenna’s room where he attempted to rape her.
While he was trying to rape her, he shoved a pillow over her face and strangled her until she went unconscious and then taped up her mouth and nose to cut off her breathing until she suffocated and died. She was only nine years old.
I couldn’t help but to read this an additional three times because I still couldn’t believe it. Clinton, the goofiest guy I had ever met.
One thing I noticed that dawned on me and was very unsettling was, the article mentioned that Clinton was 19 years old.
If Clinton was 19 when this happened, that meant he was older than what he said he was when he was hanging out with me and my friends.
I looked his information up in the Department of Corrections and his birthday is in October 1984; mine is November of ‘89—he was five years and a month older than me, and while I wouldn’t have considered that a big deal at the time, I find it a little nerve-wracking and unsettling that he would lie about being younger so he could hang out with us.
I met him in late August of 2002 and that would have honestly meant he was seventeen but getting ready to turn eighteen in October. That’s why he stopped hanging out suddenly after October rolled around. It explains everything now.
Maybe he lied so he wouldn’t look bad that he was an adult and hanging out with preteens, especially my young ass. I was the youngest out of the lot of us girls. All my friends were either born years ahead of me or they had summer birthdays when I was a child of fall.
Even If he did hang out with us, being eighteen and in high school still, nobody would have suspected anything about him because he was such a nice guy and he was goofy as hell. Nobody would have ever thought that he was a pedophile, rapist, or killer in the first place.
But he was obviously in touch with that side to him and real with himself about it especially if he was going to deliberately lie about his age—and when you really think about it, why would an 18-year-old man hang out with a 12-year-old girl in the first place?
By the time I was 18, guys my age were partying and getting laid every night. Why wasn’t he doing that?
Another unsettling thing I can come up with is maybe he lied to me about his age so he could try to get me to trust him and coerce me into having sex with him if it ever got to that point. That is what pedophiles do. And it’s no offense on him, but he had to have had pedophilic tendencies especially if he tried to rape Jenna before he killed her.
I think the only reason he did not rape me or try anything with me is because we were in a very large apartment complex, everybody knew me, and if something came up wrong, people would have come looking for me. There was no isolation, it was very public, so it was not possible for him to get me where and when he wanted to get me.
He backed away when he turned eighteen because he knew if anything happened he would have gone to jail and they would have suspected him more because he was an official adult. But when he turned 18, it was like we didn’t exist and he ignored us.
In most states the age of consent is 16 years old with two- to three-year age limits. Example, if you are 16, you can date someone up to the age of 16 to 19 and nothing can be done because it’s the age of consent law. Just like if you are 17, you can date someone your own age all the way to 20. Its depends on which state, though—some states you can be up to two years older and other states it’s three.
The sad part is, if he was really into me all he had to have done was wait until I was 16 with the consideration that he was literally three years older than me. But he wasn’t. He was five years older than me, which is very unsettling.
According to psychology, you can be classified as a pedophile starting at the age of 15 years old—if Clinton was a pedophile, he had to have known and acknowledged it for a long time before he tried to act on it with Jenna.
He had to have known and acknowledged it especially if he was hanging out with me when I was 12 years old and especially if he was lying to me and everyone else about his age.
When he lied to me, got closer and more socially involved with me and we were alone, what were his intentions? I can’t help but wonder that to this day and now I am 27 years old—and he is 32 and locked up for life.
I am horrified at the fact that it could have easily been me. I am horrified at the fact that he did that to Jenna. What is unsettling is that I think his father knew just what kind of issues he had, but being a father, he was trying to protect him and mold him in his own way and it all backfired.
I think about Shirley a lot and often wonder if I will ever run into her again or if she is in San Diego and going forward in her life. Who knows?
A friend of mine always told me to never look into the past because this is what you may get…something that you don’t want to hear or read about.